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Fourthfest to become three-day event

Mayor Herb Bergson announced March 19 that the city of Duluth has reached an agreement with Lou Campbell Productions that will expand the city's annual Fourthfest celebration from one to three days.

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Mayor Herb Bergson announced March 19 that the city of Duluth has reached an agreement with Lou Campbell Productions that will expand the city's annual Fourthfest celebration from one to three days.

The expansion of the festival will coincide with three major country music acts coming to Bayfront Festival Park on Friday, July 2. "We're very excited about making the Upper Midwest's best celebration even better," Mayor Bergson said. "We will have more opportunities than ever for family fun and that's important."

Sherrie Austin, who took country music by storm with her hit "Streets of Heaven", will perform July 2 at 5:30 p.m. Gary Allan, who topped the charts with "Man to Man," will perform at 7 p.m. and the evening will be capped by headliner Brad Paisley taking the stage at 8:30 p.m. Paisley has had three number-one country hits including "He Didn't Have To Be," "We Danced" and "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)." Tickets for the July 2 event are $30, with distribution details to be announced. The July 3 and July 4 events will be free.

"I'm very excited about the possibilities involved in expanding this event, which is already one of the most popular in the region," Campbell said. "We're going to put on a great show."

Saturday's events will include a Fourthfest Art Fair, a Fourthfest Business Expo and the debut of "Regional Idol", where kids can compete on-stage for the chance to sing the national anthem at the July 4 festivities.

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Saturday's entertainment will conclude with the tribute group "KISS Alive II" performing at 8 p.m. Sunday's main act will be "British Export - The Beatles Tribute Group," which will provide the prelude to the state's best fireworks show beginning at dusk.

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